Saturday, September 26, 2009
80s Month: Saturday Morning Recreated: NBC, Fall 1981
Yes, once again we traverse a Saturday morning schedule past for tasty nostalgic treats. It's Saturday Morning Recreated, and this time we enter--NBC in the fall of 1981!
As usual with NBC ads, there are no exact times, and considering the unusual way networks packaged their programs, I'm not even going to guess what the exact times were for these shows. I'll just go in order this time and see what's what.
Starting off the morning is the Flintstones Comedy Show. I've already talked about this series previously, and as their isn't much more footage from it to post, we'll simply move on.
The next show is, well, the most successful Saturday morning children's show of the decade--The Smurfs. The Belgian-born creatures had been around for ages before hitting American shores, but when they did, they were an overnight sensation that would last for years more. This show was to NBC's Saturday morning lineup what The Cosby Show would be to the network's primetime lineup in 1984. Their impact on kids TV in the 80s can't be overestimated. Here they are!
Next up is The Kids Super Power Hour with Shazam! This was a blend of two cartoons plus live action sequences. Hero High was simply that: a high school for super-powered teenagers. They were also portrayed in the live action spots by actors who were, well, older than teens. Truth be told, they were pretty bad. I remember the live action spots, but have no memory of the cartoon.
They appeared with an animated version of DC Comics' Captain Marvel. Strange that Filmation would give an animated take on a character for which they produced a live action series just a couple years before. Unfortunately, all I can find of this series is the intro (there were several episodes from the series available online fo a few years, but it looks like YouTube finally pulled the plug on them).
Up next is a return from the previous season, Space Stars. As with the Flintstones, I'll give this one a pass this time around, as I've already covered that series in my 1980 post. This leads up to...
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends! Spidey makes his second go-round as an animated series, this time with help from the X-Men's Iceman and heroine Firestar, a character I believe was created specifically for this series (although she was later added into Marvel Comics' continuity). As a huge Spider-Man fan, I of course loved this show, even if it lacked the charm and energy of the 1960s series. How did these three crazy kids get together? Find out here!
Next is the Daffy and Speedy Show, a collection of crappy cartoons from the late 60s that were packaged for this series. Another leftover from previous seasons, so no need to mention it further here.
Finally, like the Jetsons from the 1980 season, this lineup is rounded out by a classic from the 60s, Rocky and Bullwinkle. At least this is a much better use of recycled material.
And that's the lineup for NBC 1981. As typical of most of the lineups we've examined so far, there are some gems (Smurfs, Spider-Man) and some crap (Hero High, Daffy and Speedy). Still, it's more than you can say for today's Saturday morning TV, but I'll save that for another post some day (and I do have a lot to say about it).
We'll have one more post to wrap up 80s Month, and then--heh heh heh. You see that new orange banner near the top right of the blog? Click on that and you'll see what's next for October. Bwah ha ha!